Meyers, Suns overcome an early homer

August 18, 2007|By BOB PARASILITI

Brad Meyers settled in for a double feature on Friday.

The Hagerstown Suns starting pitcher started the evening with a view of Gone With The Wind and finished the night with Keeping the Faith.

Meyers served up a leadoff home run to Greensboro's John Raynor on the second pitch of the game before settling down for six solid innings of work as the Suns came from behind for a 2-1 victory over the Grasshoppers.

Meyers didn't get the win because the Suns didn't score until Francisco Guzman ripped a two-run single to left in the seventh off Greensboro starter Michael Hyle. But the 6-foot-6 right-hander knew the game's outcome before it ended.


"It was still a long game in the first inning," Meyers said. "I just got back in and tried to get down in the zone. I wasn't worried. I knew the offense would come through."

The Suns and Grasshoppers locked in a fast-paced game that had few hits and even fewer runs.

Raynor took Meyers' second pitch and hit it the opposite way with the jetstream to right field. The ball carried over the chainlink fence and glanced off the facing of the back wall to give the Grasshoppers the quick 1-0 lead.

"I was second-guessing myself on that pitch," Meyers said. "I knew he expected a fastball and I threw it up. He hit it up in the wind and it went out. After that, I tried to work them inside and force them to go to left field."

Meyers (1-1), a fifth-round draft pick in June, buckled down and allowed only two other hits along with three walks and a hit batter over his six-inning stint - his longest in four starts with the Suns. Unfortunately, the outing forced his ERA to jump from 0.00 to 0.44, as he allowed his first earned run over 20 2/3 innings.

"(Meyers) has been solid for us in every outing," Suns manager Tommy Herr said. "He's a poised young pitcher with three pitches. He doesn't let anything bother him and has been all we expected.

"He got a pitch up in the wind and it went out," Herr said. "It was that way all night, but that was the only home run. There weren't many who challenged it."

Hagerstown struggled against Hyle until Guzman got the Suns' first hit in the fifth inning.

The Suns finally broke through in the seventh. Joe Napoli opened with a single to right and took third on Trevor Lawhorn's one-out double to right-center field. It set the stage for Guzman's line-drive single over the top of shortstop Guillermo Martinez's head to drive in the runs.

"Guzzy is a free swinger," Herr said. "He'll go up there and run into one every once in awhile. For him to get better, he needs to get more disciplined at the plate."

Joe Welsh benefited from Guzman's single as he got the win in relief. Welsh went 1 1/3 scoreless innings before giving way to Josh Wilkie, who got the save with 1 2/3 innings of hitless relief.

It all worked to become another tight game, the kind the Suns are starting to pull out with more regularity.

"They learn and that's why we play all these games," Herr said. "The best teacher is experience. The good players are the ones who learn and file it all away for later."

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